What is "constructive eviction"?

In another posting (question) I saw mention of "constructive eviction". It was pertaining to a situation where a tenant signed a lease and then changed his mind on his move in date due to noisy neighbors. The landlord said he would refund the tenants monies less 30 days but the tenant wanted it all returned. The "answer" was directed to the landlord and here is the portion mentioning my question: "You can hold him to the terms of the lease. However, if his gripe is ligit you may have a constructive eviction situation. Try to work it out with him, especially if you knew about the noise and did not disclose it." I have a similar situation from the tenants side and want to know if and how I can recover some/any of the monies paid for move in.

Hawthorne, CA -

Attorney Answers (2)

Steven Alan Fink

Steven Alan Fink

Real Estate Attorney - Newport Beach, CA
Answered

A constructive eviction occurs when the rented property has undisclosed problems that make your living there a breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment. Not providing heat after repeated requests would be one possible example.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.

Kenneth Evan Chyten

Kenneth Evan Chyten

Real Estate Attorney - Oxnard, CA
Answered

A tenant is constructively evicted in the property is uninhabitable.

There are many conditions that can make a property uninhabitable.

You should consult with a landlord-tenant attorney with respect to your particular situation.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS RESPONSE SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS A LEGAL OPINION OR ADVISE, AND DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. IN ORDER TO RENDER A LEGAL OPINION OR ADVISE, THE RESPONDING ATTORNEY WOULD NEED FAR MORE INFORMATION THAN HAS BEEN PROVIDED, AND WOULD NEED TO BE RETAINED PURSUANT TO A WRITTEN FEE AGREEMENT.

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